Not-So-Touristy Guide To Madrid

This summer was pretty eventful. It started with a 3 week fashion and social media course at Madrid, kept going on with day trips to nearby cities in Spain, a weekend getaway to Lisbon and its surroundings, and then continued with a family vacation to Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler in Canada.

Now that I’m keeping up with everything back home, I’ve started writing about my travels, and sharing the rest of the photos I hadn’t had the chance to go through while abroad.

I recently published another guide for Madrid, detailing about which are the top 10 things you need to visit. The touristy side of Madrid. You can read that one by clicking HERE.

This time, I’ll bring you closer to a different, yet popular, and equally cool side of Madrid; the side you discover by being a temporary resident.

You ready?



Alright. Of course a plant facade is attractive to all tourists, but with everything else in the city, it sure isn’t atop their Madrid bucket list. CaixaForum, besides being this pretty on the outside, on the inside is a 21st century sociocultural center that displays modern and contemporary art, poetry, and music festivals. In addition, there are also educational workshops that can be an interesting activity to look into for a change of pace. You won’t find this place swamped with tourists, but it surely is a nice not-so-touristy place you can visit!


Mercado de San Ildefonso is a hip and trendy gourmet market located at Calle de Fuencarral 57 in Malasaña. It’s a popular, and cool place to go for an exquisite gastronomic experience. It’s one of those places that seem hidden on the outside, but going in, you discover a a new and creative style that engages with you instantly. There’s variety, fit to satisfy every type of palate, and has that “London Style” down. It is too, Madrid’s first street food market.


This plaza is for me, one of the prettiest and most charming of the city. While it is popular, it’s not as frequented by tourists like Plaza Mayor or Puerta del Sol. Here you’ll find a variety of shops, and restaurants with pretty terraces to grab a bite, and do some people watching.

If you want my recommendation, have dinner at the restaurant La Lateral. We ate there during our visit, and it did not disappoint. Take a look at these!



Salvador Bachiller’s store located in Montera street, has several floors where handbags, hats, and other cute details are sold. Nonetheless, the wow factor is in the third and fourth floors, where the designer adds to the shopping experience, by offering gastronomic spaces to its shoppers. El Jardín de SB is one of them, and the VIP Lounge is another.

If you want to eat at El Jardín de SB, I recommend making reservations. I wanted to eat here, and was not able to because it was full! If only I knew better!

Nonetheless, the VIP Lounge offers the same menu, so I ate there. The difference between both, is the ambience. At El Jardín de SB, you get to eat in a garden, and at the VIP Lounge, you eat indoors in a beautifully decorated room, so I still had a great experience! Take a look:


Platea is the largest gastronomic entertainment center in the city. It’s located in Salamanca, where the Carlos III movie theatre used to be. If you’re a foodie, I beg you to come here. There’re lots of different restaurants to choose from; there’s a patio for bars and tapas, El Foso, where you can try from food from around the world, and a sweets bar, the Canalla Bistro, a Michelin Star, and eclectic restaurant, El Palco, the place for cocktails, and El Club, their best kept secret.


When many travel to the capital of Spain, they look forward to doing some shopping, and while there’s great shops at Gran Vía or Serrano street, Las Rozas Village will offer a bit more than that. Think refined spaces, and your favorite designer stores at outlet prices! Now we’re talking…

…and after the shopping, comes the sugar rush! And guess what? There’s Amorino! Check out the delicious cone I ordered for myself here, with a macaron on top!

Madrid is a city that’s vibrant and is creative in the way it does things. I know you’ll find many other non touristy activities with no problem. Nevertheless, you’ve got this 6 to start!

I enjoyed each one, and recommend them because even if they’re not the first thing you think of when planning a trip to Madrid, they’re characteristic to the city, and are great visits!

Do you have any non touristy places to add? Share on the comments!

If you wish to follow along my adventures on IG, here’s the link!
(Just click below)

…and last but not least! Share the post’s artwork on Pinterest to share with your friends!

More about Any Galván

Hey there! I'm Any Galván, a 21 year old writer, reader, and avid daydreamer endlessly discovering this world. Join the adventure!

12 thoughts on “Not-So-Touristy Guide To Madrid

  1. Lena

    I love to see the touristy stuff when I visit a place for the first time 😊 But it’s cool to get off the main stream and see what locals see 😍


    1. Any Galván

      I agree!! I always go through the touristy stuff first, too! Then, if I have extra time, love to uncover a new side to a city!


  2. Christine Connell

    Seems like you have had quite the summer 🙂 I can’t wait to get to Madrid now!


    1. Any Galván

      I loved this city so much!! <3


  3. Monica

    I think I’ve checked off all the touristy things to do there by now haha so will definitely use your guide the next time I’m in town 🤓


    1. Any Galván

      Glad it’s useful to you! There’s so many cool stuff going on in Madrid, so you can spend a unique experience next time!


  4. Michelle

    I loveeee doing what the locals do. Love this guide!


  5. Tracey

    This is great non touristy information! I love Madrid! I liked going to the ice bar there. Love these tips x


  6. Hannah

    That Platea place sounds delicious! Thanks for the great guide 🙌 I’m going to use this for when I make it to Madrid hopefully later on in the year


    1. Any Galván

      It is!! We enjoyed a delicious meal there!! and the place has a nice environment, too. Happy to help if you need anything for your hopeful future visit!


  7. Susan

    I love the sound of the street food market and I’d be tempted to check out the outlet stores too. Madrid is definitely on my to visit list


    1. Any Galván

      They are both great!! The street food market is popular this days!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *